This is the greatest Cheval des Andes ever. Discrete aromas of blackberries, flowers, stone and licorice. So perfumed. The integration of fruit, tannins and acidity is fantastic. Full-bodied, tight and solid with beautiful depth and integrity. Extremely long and exciting. Complex and compelling with such refinement and length.
2017 saw an early harvest, but they started picking on the 6th of March and continued until the 10th of April, more or less normal dates, early but not so much. The varietal break down this vintage comes to 62% Malbec and 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the wine is slightly riper and higher in alcohol than 2016 (this 2017 is 14.2% alcohol). This is clearly the darkest of the trio of vintages I tasted together here—2015, 2016 and 2017—but all three have the elegant and powerful profile, the luxurious and creamy character found in the best Bordeaux wines in the last few years, wines of power with precision, concentration, energy and finesse. This seems to combine the clout of the 2015 and the freshness of the 2016 and feels something in between those two vintages. Their work in the vineyard toward the maturity of the tannins meant the challenge in 2017 was to not let the grapes ripen too fast and too early. The work is different for Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, to get round tannins in Cabernet and get some tension in Malbec, the contrary of the normal tendency of the varieties. 2017 has less ripeness than the 2015 but more density than the 2016. The texture is velvety, precise and harmonious. This year, they introduced a larger foudre for 10% of the wine, with the aim to reach 20%, so that volume is increasing every year. I think this is showing more precision, and in a more challenging year, they managed to keep the quality on par with 2016. (LG) 97+
This is an excellent wine - juicy, with tension and depth, and a confident sense of style and character. Vibrant violet edging, redcurrant and raspberry fruits with tight tannins and a chewy finish. One of the top wines from South America and a great shot of confidence for 'the place' to have it arrive last year where it is now sold 100% after being withdrawn from the LVMH distribution network. Second-to-last vintage with Lorenzo Pasquini before he headed over to Giscours (and Caiarossa), with the 2019 onwards under the care of Gérald Gabillet, formerly with Château Angélus and so maintaining the Bordeaux link. (JA)
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